Most of the time, people investing in automated testing solutions tend to have queries related to the tools. Since selenium is one of the most popular and widely adopted automation testing solution, we at BugRaptors consider it as our responsibility to help our clients understand what is selenium? Which module of the software do we use for the test automation? And, why is it good for rapid, robust, and efficient testing?  

Selenium is actually a popular open-source web-based automation tool. Selenium offers a robust set of tools that supports the rapid development of test automation for web-based applications along with so many features: 

  • It works anywhere JavaScript is supported. 

  • It hooks for many other languages - Java, Ruby, Python, C#. 

  • Selenium can simulate a user navigating through pages and then assert for specific marks on the pages. 

  • Selenium has various versions like Selenium IDE, Selenium Remote Control, Selenium WebDriver, and Selenium Grid. 

Suggested Read: Why We Choose Java Over The Python In Selenium Web Driver?

What is Selenium IDE? 

Selenium IDE (referred to as Integrated Development Environment) is the simplest tool in the Selenium Suite. Selenium IDE is a Record and Playback tool, which is very simple to utilize, but it is quite unreliable. Selenium IDE was created to enhance the speed of creating the test cases. It has a record & playback feature that helps you to create simple tests rapidly (within seconds). 

Nevertheless, it has an excellent user interface and also supports numerous extensions. It is a Firefox add-on that creates test cases very rapidly through its record-and-playback functionality. This feature is similar to that of QTP. Moreover, it is easy to install and learn. Selenium IDE should only be utilized as a prototyping tool - not an overall solution for developing and maintaining complex test suites. 


What is Selenium WebDriver?                                

Selenium WebDriver is a web automation framework that permits you to run your tests against diverse browsers, not just Firefox. WebDriver also enables you to use a programming language in creating your test with support on several programming languages such as Java, .Net, PHP, Python, Perl, and Ruby. 

If you have some defined automation testing objectives, you do not have to know all of the selenium versions. To deliver quality test results, you just need to be knowledgeable in one. However, Selenium WebDriver was the first cross-platform testing framework that could control the browser from the OS level. It is the actual core API that allows you to write standalone tests. 

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Difference Between Selenium IDE & Selenium WebDriver 

  • Selenium IDE only works in the Mozilla browser, Whereas WebDriver works well with all browsers like Firefox, IE, Chrome, Safari, and Opera, etc. 

  • IDE is a GUI Plug-in, whereas WebDriver is an actual core API that allows binding in a range of languages. 

  • IDE is very simple to use as it works on the record & playback process, whereas WebDriver doesn’t support record and playback options.  

  • Selenium IDE is not object-oriented, whereas WebDriver’s APIs are entirely Object-oriented. 

  • In IDE, the users need to append full xpath with ‘xpath=\\’ syntax, whereas in WebDriver, there is no need to append full xpath with ‘xpath=\\’ syntax. 

  • IDE does not support listeners, whereas WebDriver supports the implementation of listeners.  

  • IDE does not support testing of iPhone/Android applications, whereas WebDriver supports testing on iPhone/Android applications. 

  • IDE is very simple to use as it is record & playback, whereas WebDriver is a bit complex and has a large API. 

  • IDE doesn’t support moving mouse cursors while testing, whereas WebDriver supports moving mouse cursors during the test course. 

The Crux 

Even though WebDriver does not have a record and playback features, but WebDriver offers better ability and capabilities when it comes to testing. Either it is the ability to handle native alerts or handling file upload across selenium grid, you don't need to rely on a specific file on the system, WebDriver can serialize the file and generate a data URL on the other end. 

Besides this, WebDriver allows the creation of more robust scripts as you can tap into the power of the host language.  This allows better error handling, reusable modules, and the ability to tap into coordinate stuff outside of the web browser. Moreover, WebDriver even holds the ability to leverage development code to speed up testing. 

All in all, if you are looking for more robust and scalable tests, using WebDriver over IDE can be the ultimate solution to treat any programming problem while ensuring quality automation test results.  

For more information on how BugRaptors could help you achieve efficient test Automation results for your application, feel free to reach our experts


Yashpal has more than 5 years of experience in writing automation scripts for web applications. He has used Selenium webdriver, AHK, TestingG, Junit, Jenkins and Maven to create automation scripts. All the test scripts are created using Data driven framework and Key word driven framework which brings ease in understanding source code. Feed scripts from databases like, Excel, My sql and MS sql.


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